The choice between a good thing and a bad thing is never a hard choice. The only hard choice is a choice between two good things.
Science is a good thing. And so are the arts.
Rube Goldberg became wildly famous 100 years ago because his elegantly absurd inventions combined science with art.
Elegant absurdity surprises and delights us because it reveals lofty creativity and deep commitment aimed at something that, logically, isn’t worth the effort.
Pure logic snorts a derisive laugh, but the Heart laughs with peals of pure joy.
YouTube and TikTok are filled with elegant absurdity. OK GO rode the rocket of the elegantly absurd to heights unknown, then Walk Off the Earth rode it like a surfboard to the edge of the world and beyond. The absurdly elegant inventions of Mark Rober and the elegantly absurd shenanigans of Rex and Daniel have given them massive influence in their fields of endeavor.
Marching bands, baton twirling, and tap dancing… perhaps all kinds of dancing… are examples of the elegantly absurd because they require creativity and commitment to achieve something that, again, logically, isn’t worth the effort.
Indy Beagle has examples of all these for you in the rabbit hole.
Satire is another elegant absurdity.
“Satire has done more to change society than a mountain of political policies. Everything from All in the Family to SNL to The Daily Show… (not to mention court jesters, Twain, Menippus, Will Rogers). It’s a battering ram disguised as a rubber chicken.”
– Johnny Molson
But is ‘elegant absurdity’ as absurd as it first appears?
“Life is a drama full of tragedy and comedy. You should learn to enjoy the comic episodes a little more.”
– Jeannette Walls
“The more evolved an animal is, the more time it spends playing.”
– P.J. O’Rourke
“Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature.”
– Tom Robbins, Still Life With Woodpecker, p. 19
So there it is. When you are literate in the basic concepts of the sciences and the arts, you are qualified to be elegantly absurd. You are that flash of energy, that illumination we see when two wires come into close proximity after having been connected to opposite poles of the same high-voltage battery.
Roy H. Williams
Include Ryan Chute hvac tech video in the rabbit hole